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Dexamethasone suppression test in severe schizophrenic illness: effects of plasma dexamethasone and caffeine levels

, : Dexamethasone suppression test in severe schizophrenic illness: effects of plasma dexamethasone and caffeine levels. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 75(6): 608-613

A dexamethasone suppression test (DST) was administered to 31 inpatients with a severe acute achizophrenic exacerbation 4 or 5 days following admission and repeated after 4' weeks or prior to discharge. We identified 15 patients (48%) who were nonsuppressors on the DST at the first test. To exclude major confounders of DST results we monitored weight constancy and plasma concentrations of dexamethasone. In a subgroup of patients also plasma caffeine contents were determined. Our results indicate that DST nonsuppression occurs frequently among patients with schizophrenic crisis. Since caffeine plasma levels were indistinguishable between suppressors and nonsuppressors we reject that excessive caffeine intake accounts for DST nonsuppression among individuals with schizophrenia. Nonsuppressors had lower plasma dexamethasone levels than suppressors and reversal of the DST status from nonsuppression to suppression was associated with an increase of plasma concentrations of the test drug.


PMID: 3618283

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